In Southeast Asia, they make coffee from cat poop. Have you heard of this? We hadn’t.
Not until our community manager, Lori Malm, went to Vietnam last month. She brought back a number of things, including a bag of this coffee made from cat poop.
Okay, that’s only part of the story behind this coffee. According to a recent article in The Economist, it’s made from coffee beans that have been eaten and, um, processed by something called a civet cat (which the Internet tells us is any number of "cat-like creatures" that might be related to the leopard, raccoon, or weasel).
"[C]ivet cats are coffee connoisseurs," The Economist reports. "With their long noses, they sniff out and eat the best and fleshiest beans. Their digestive enzymes ferment the beans and break down the proteins. These beans, harvested from the feces, then create a coffee that tastes rich and slightly smoky with hints of chocolate."
Chocolate? Gross! Or is it?
On a blog called Asianwaytravel, one person reported liking it.
"I had a couple of cups … in Hanoi, and I was truly impressed. The coffee was brewed strong, but even though I drank it completely black, there was absolutely zero acidity and none of that sourness that might come from a regular cup of black coffee."
So we tried it ourselves. (And when I say "we" I mean "someone else.")
Lori and Eliot Weisberg open up and sniff. Nothing foul so far. (“It smells sweet,” one Catster observer remarked.)
The next step is grinding. I’ll say at this point that the coffee beans have a slick, oily quality about them. That’s probably normal for coffee (and I love coffee, I just don’t often handle the beans), but it gave me the creeps nonetheless.
They heated up the water, poured it in the press …
… and away they go! (That’s Ryan Kirkman with Eliot.)
Must be an acquired taste!
Have you tried this kind of coffee? What’s your experience?